How to Create a Killer Elevator Pitch
October 29, 2019
“I have only made this letter longer
because I have not had the time to make it shorter.”
Blaise Pascal 1657
If you need to give a short pitch – an elevator pitch – for your business or for your fund you know how tough it is.
For example, if you are a fund manager pitching to a room full of investors – managing nearly $1 trillion – you will be desperately keen to make the right impression.
Having chaired an elevator pitch session at Fund Forum in Boston a few years ago, I saw the power of preparing a powerful pitch. At this event, participants were given just five minutes to tell their story. Some people shone out – others didn’t.
We’ve put together for you here five critical lessons so that you can shine with your next elevator pitch. These tips will help you create winning pitches:
Five big tips for a killer elevator pitch
1. Keep your elevator pitch story simple
In 5 minutes you will only speak around 5-700 words. You cannot afford to waste time. What you must not do is pack in information. This is a common mistake. A great elevator pitch is simple, streamlined and easy to understand. For example, if you say just one thing, and that thing is what your audience wants to hear, you have done a great job. Say less. Edit ruthlessly.
2. Use big bold ideas in your elevator pitch
You are fighting for attention. The bigger your ideas, the easier it is to connect with your audience and the easier it is to stand out. You will find that one big idea is much more powerful than five ordinary ideas. The more you pack into your elevator pitch the more your best ideas get diluted. That means when you find your great idea that will underpin you pitch, spend time reinforcing it, illustrating and making an impact with it.
3. Aim to be memorable
Anyone can talk for 5 minutes. But few people can make an impact. Work out what you can say that will stick. For example, find something unusual, different or unique. The brain loves novelty, and that is what will get remembered.
4. Short sentences, clear language
(1) short phrases
(2) simple words, and
(3) plenty of pauses.
5. Start and End with impact
The beginning and end of your talk matter most. Start with a bang and finish with a strong take-away line. Your start sets expectations and your last line sticks in the mind. When we coach people to help create compelling elevator pitches, a huge proportion of the time is spent perfecting the starts and ends of their pitch.
Often, it’s the shortest elevator pitches that are hardest to deliver well. But they are also the most effective. When you get it right it’s a powerful business tool – particularly if you are faced with a room of investors managing $1 trillion. That’s why so many people use experts like BBA to help them prepare powerful pitches. We’d be delighted to help you too.
How to create a great elevator pitch
Top tips for a new business pitch
How to prepare a killer investor elevator pitch
Investors managing over $10bn in Private Equity judged the recent SuperInvestor investor elevator pitches
Seven funds competed by pitching their investment ideas in an elevator pitch lasting no more than 90 seconds to a room packed with potential investors.
Elevator Pitches are about quality not quantity
Demonstrating that quality beats quantity every time, Simone Balch of DW Markets secured second place in this popular competition.
Speaking to a packed conference hall Simone gave her carefully crafted pitch in just 45 seconds – half the allotted time.
But first prize was secured by John Cheuk of Ant Capital. Using the whole 90 seconds he clearly laid out why there was value to be found in Japan and how Ant Cap was well placed to capture this value. Ant does this by investing in small and mid cap buyouts.
The competition was chaired by presentation expert Benjamin Ball and judged by 5 experienced Private Equity investors: Jeffrey Reals of Performance Equity Management, Robert van Schaik of Shell Asset Management, Ewoud van de Sande of Robeco, Allen MacDonell of Teachers Texas and Seth Hall of Calstrs.
How to create a great investor elevator pitch
Drawing on his experience preparing teams for fundraising and investor presentations, Benjamin Ball gave detailed advice to those who did not win. This included:
1. Focus on what your audience is keen to hear. Address their concerns and interests.
2. Don’t try and say too much. Better to say less, and say it better
3. Slow down and pause. It’s tempting to rush a 90 second pitch, but that will make it incomprehensible.
4. Use shorter sentences (especially for Francophones and Italians)
5. If you say you are passionate, make sure that comes across in your performance
6. Plan carefully. You only have time for 200 words, so make every word count.
7. And practice. The most natural presenters are the most practiced
What makes a successful investor pitch?
Ben also summarised the three things that your investor elevator pitch must achieve to be successful.
Your audience should:
1. Understand what you do
2. See you as Likeable, and
3. Fee they can Trust you
If you achieve this, you are a long way towards a successful investor fundraising pitch.
What Do You Get Working With BBA?
- Completely personalised pitch coaching
- Practical, effective advice
- Experienced coaches
- Immediate improvements
- Long-lasting results
We want to make a real different to the impact you make – and improve the results from your pitch.
Improve All Of Your Elevator Pitch
We help you improve every aspect of your pitch:
- how you prepare
- your investor story
- how you structure your investor meeting
- your materials
- how you engage with your investor.
We’ll improve your pitch, strengthen your skills and build confidence.
You learn how easy it is to be more persuasive with investors.
Pitch Coaching, Tailored for You
All our pitch coaching is tailored. We help clients with everything from quick half-day rehearsal to larger projects that transform our clients’ win rates.
About Benjamin Ball Associates
At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help clients to pitch, present & persuade.
Over the last 10+ years the award-winning BBA team has supported thousands of executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.
We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.
Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and discuss your upcoming talk or presentation.
Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.
What leaders say about Benjamin Ball Associates
"Essential if you are going to be a spokesperson for your business"
Senior Analyst, Sloane Robinson
"Being an effective communicator is essential to get your stock ideas across. This course is exactly what's needed to help you do just that!"
CEO, Blast! Films
“Our investment in the coaching has paid for itself many times over.”
Corporate Finance House
“You address 95% of the issues in a quarter of the time of your competitor.”
“Good insight and a great toolbox to improve on my presentations and delivery of messages to not only boards, analysts and shareholders but to all audiences”
“We had a good story to tell, but you helped us deliver it more coherently and more positively.”
CEO, IPSO Ventures
“Ben did a great job on our presentation. He transformed an ordinary set of slides into a great presentation with a clear message. Would definitely use him again and recommend him highly.”
“Moved our presentation into a different league and undoubtedly improved the outcome and offer we received.”
Head of IR, Equinox
“A fantastic job reviewing and transforming our marketing material and helping us get our message across with clarity to potential investors.”